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China Stationery Industry Forum of CSF 2020

Stationery x Cultural and Creative Industries x Bookstores, Culture is Borderless, Discussing the Future Together

The 114th China Stationery Fair lasting for 3 days was successfully concluded on September 19th, 2020 at National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai)!

In the morning of the first day of the exhibition, the first offline forum with the theme of “Stationery x Cultural and Creative Industries x Bookstores, Culture is Borderless, Discussing the Future Together” was successfully concluded at the discussion area of the exhibition! CSF, together with Hubei Zhihe Space Design and Decoration Co., Ltd. and Shumeng (Brick-and Mortar Bookstores Coalition) invited several prominent people ranging from founders of famous bookstore brands, well-known people of the stationery industry to senior operators of the cultural and creative industries to discuss the boundless room for bookstores, cultural and creative industries and stationery industry to develop and integrate.

Here, your editor will summarize the speech of each guest.

Host: Sun Qian ● Founder of Shumeng (Brick-and Mortar Bookstores Coalition)

Speech by the organizer: Xu Huafeng ● General manager of Comexposium (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

Person in Charge: Chen Xiaoming ● Co-founder of Jihe Bookstore

-What’s the value of brick-and mortar bookstores? Bookstores should be enchanting and steeped in culture. Mr. Chen summarized the advantages of Jihe bookstores first.

1. A lovely and relaxed atmosphere;

2. Books accessible to the public;

3. Regular promotions, such as holding salons with various themes, photograph exhibitions and film festivals.

In addition, Jihe Bookstore is committed to building multiple platforms through four sections--- cultural and creative industries, cultural design, consultant and cultural strategies; it constantly enriches its bookstores by including books of various fields like real estate, tourism, education and physical education; it always engages in deep cooperation with local governments and cultural organizations to advance the development of culture; meanwhile, it also perennially exchange ideas with artists to build original IP, for example, it cooperated with Taiwan’s Kenmo and produced a series of cultural and creative products that fully revealed Sichuan’s local characteristics, it cooperated with CGS and launched a series of products featuring Once Upon a Time, it also launched a series of Dunhuang products with the Guo Rong. 

Yang Jun ●Brand director of Shenzhen COMIX Group Stock Company

The dynamic interplay of stationery and bookstore 

When traditional retail stores encounter various problems such as the lack of marketing model, product variety and working capital, high inventory and logistics costs as well as the decrease of gross profit, the online shopping market is also facing a series of problems like the slowdown in growth and the cost of getting customers constantly increasing every year. Against this backdrop, the digital transformation of retail terminal, the fusion of online and offline channels, the readjusting of commodity structure, the upgrading of the industry and an emphasis on the experience of distinct arrangements will become new growth drivers in the retail industry. 

With cases like COMIX & JD borderless smart office retail cooperative stores, COMIX channel platform and TOB, TOC live streaming that starts this year in the company, Mr. Yang shares with us the infinite possibilities stemming from the fusion of retail terminal and digitalization. For one thing, retail stores can establish the digital private traffic of customers, build new scenes involving people, products and sites, and increase new models of making profits. For another, consumers’ behavior and preferences should be analyzed and retail stores should be upgraded in a digital way so as to enrich the consumers’ buying and terminal experience, further consolidate the relationship with users, make stores more sticky for users and cash in on the added value.  

Zhang Xiao ● Founder of WILL COMMUNE

The space value of bookstores

Mr. Zhang and his team have been thinking about two questions. What’s the feeling of physical space? What does physical space serve?

Brick-and-mortar stores are irreplaceable and have their unique features:

1. Distinctive, such as nest-weaving and geometrical cave. People can recognize the brand of the bookstore at first sight.

2. Perceptible In various ways like exhibitions, words, colors and interactions, brick-and-mortar stores can enable customers to perceive the contents in the space the moment they enter.

3. Surprising Many readers enter a bookstore because they can accidentally gain something surprising.

Therefore, in terms of the services bookstores should provide to customers, Mr. Zhang maintains that do everything within their power to give customers a better experience, because the most fulfilling part of reading is to savor growth. WILL COMMUNE is dedicated to enriching the bookstore with premium books, giving customers surprises, encouraging them to engage in social interactions through reading and helping them remember their own as well as others’ growth.  

Zhou Yuting ● Author of The Map of Cultural and Creative Industries

The way to manage cultural and creative industries

Zhou has been in the cultural and creative industry for 30 years (running ChengPin Bookstore for 26 years). She shared with us the way to manage cultural and creative industries from the perspective of the cultural and creative industry and business management model.

Cultural and creative industry is an industry that aims to make cultural depth achieve a large scale and become market-oriented through creative ways. When managing the cultural and creative industry, one needs to grasp the trend and the demand of the market first so as to find new ways to manage the industry such as the currently popular sustainable tourism economy, experience economy and happy economy (the industry that makes customers feel valued, peaceful, fulfilled and secure). With the guidance of market trend, operators adjust the structure and achieve transformation based on the original model: adjust the structure of existent commodities and develop new products; adjust the current store model and develop new combinations; improve the services that are available and provide new services. 

In this way, operators will gradually form their own model and come up with their own strategies to manage the cultural and creative industry, like the integration of a company’s resources, act as an agency for investment and providing local cultural resources that are currently predominant in the market.  

Ya Qian ● Freelance writer

Tian Yuan ● Founder of Jing Tianzhi / Author of The Beauty of Bookstore

Bookstore and life

A group photo of guests

Finally, Ya Qian and Tian Yuan shared with us how they become attached to bookstores. Ya Qian also shared with us some stories about bookstores like Qi Yue Bookstore, Le Kai Bookstore, The Age of Innocence Bookstore, Xian Xing Books, talking about her views on bookstores and life. 

Here, your editor will summarize the speech of each guest! 


1. Li Ling ● Authorization director of China Toy & Juvenile Products Association

The release of China’s brand authorization report in 2020

IP cooperation is conducive to increasing varieties, promoting sales, raising profits and creating brands. Currently, office supplies account for 7% in the IP authorized industry    becoming an important part of IP cooperation.


In terms of IP cooperation model, commodity authorization is the major cooperation model, followed by co-branding and theme space (location-based entertainment, LBE). In the model of authorization fee collection, minimum guarantee + premium authorization is the most important model, accounting for 47%, followed by the collection model of no guarantee money and charging a certain percentage of sales (22%); then it is resource exchange and joint promotion (19%).


From the perspective of the licensees, they mainly consider the following factors when choosing the licensor and IP:

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Distributors mainly consider the following factors when choosing the licensor and IP:


For consumers of authorized products, 56% of consumers buy authorized products worth 1000-3000 yuan in a year; 86% of consumers buy authorized products with a higher price than similar products; 81% of consumers are willing to buy authorized products with the same IP. The three main reasons for consumers to buy authorized are: take a liking to the IP/brand; consumers are attracted to buy them because they are recently quite popular; the IP fits with the personal image or the present mood. Besides, TMALL, JD and Taobao are the three main platforms that consumers choose to buy authorized products online.    


What is more, Mr. Li also points out that children’s IP, two dimensional culture, domestic original IP, new international trend, fashion/way of living/artistic IP, game IP and classical IP will be the IP categories that worth paying attention to this year. 


2. Zhang Lei ● General manager of Hang Zhou You Nuo Anime & Comic Co., Ltd .


How can IP authorization integrate with stationery industry?

Mr. Zhang points out that the ideal IP should be classical, long-lasting, have a large number of fans and many channels, possess positive energy and have a high rate of brand conversion.   


He also promotes the key IP the company operates--- The House of Sable Dragon. It was drawn by the most renowned cartoonist in Taiwan---Ao Youxiang who was extremely influential in China. For 40 years after he started to draw cartoons, his works continue to be popular and become world-famous. Up to now, The House of Sable Dragon boasts 120 million paying users, 4 animation series, 1 live-action film, 1 animated film and 3 internet films, being viewed over 1.5 billion times on the internet. 


As the fond child memories of people born after 1990, the core audience of The House of Sable Dragon lives in big cities and has strong consumption power. The main consumption force of The House of Sable Dragon---young people and the backbone of society, is also a huge consumption group of stationery.


Cases of The House of Sable Dragon’s cooperation with the stationery industry


3. Liu Jing ● General manager of the cultural and creative unit of NETEASE   

 IP ecology in the era of new media 

Today, “Z generation” and ‘she economy” have become the two features of the society and economy. Young people as the digital residents of the Z generation become the major consumption force. They have higher moral pursuits and a wide range of interests; they consume with a view to achieving personal value. Women have a greater say and stronger consumption power in society. TV shows, films and app platforms are all catering to the woman market. As a result, “she topic” dominates the screen. Meanwhile, in the era of new media, each person is a unit of the media and everyone can make contributions to its content. Propagation turns into different arrangements in minority + majority + minority and contents are the most important in all channels. Netease, which is good at content-making, also hopes to take advantage of the opportunity and transform itself from building platform influence to entering various areas so as to give its fans a sense of belong and stimulate them to be involved in the propagation of more relevant contents.   


Mr. Liu shared with us the evolution of the IP-Yang tuo Wang Sansan. Since it entered the market in 2016, the IP attracted the attention of the public with the marketing of the “Song Tea”. Afterwards, the image Wang Sansan went through some changes and the new image catered more to the woman market. It also became more and more entertaining, constantly occurring with celebrities, in TV shows, games and short videos and endearing the image to the public. 


Actually, young people born in the Z generation tend to describe themselves with labels so as to identify with others, express their emotions and influence each other. The IP image can then pique users’ interest and become the personal label of its fans. The cultural and creative industry of Netease also hopes to build high-quality domestic IP, making it become a brand idol that users have faith in. Meanwhile, a closed circle of content, product and reputation of the brand-IP-user can be formed to help the brand communicate with users.


4. Ji Libo ● Marketing director of LuoFu Stationery Manufacturing Co., Ltd in Luo He

The opportunities and challenges of junior stationery market IP 

From 2018 to 2019, sales of IP authorized products in TMALL stores in maternal and infant industry increased by 41%. In 2019, TMALL stores in maternal and infant industry that added IP authorized products increased by 117%. The percentage it accounted for increased from 16% to 22%. Noticeably, the junior IP market still has enormous potential for rapid development and growth. 


From the above comparison of attention to IP and sales, we can find that attention to IP is highly relevant to sales, especially the IP in the top of the list. E-commerce Blue Ocean Index also vividly reveals the tremendous need for IP in the market and it has a positive correlation with IP key words. What’s more, the need for IP in the Chinese market is not satisfied yet and great potential for development still exists. 


In the selection and application of IP, Mr Ji points out that while selecting IP, you must be clear about the targeted group of products and the consumers of the targeted IP as well as the authorization structure of the targeted IP. For example, people born after 1990 and 1995 clearly have different preferences in IP consumption. People born after 1995 account for a higher percentage in buying IP like Pokemon and Doraemon whose consumers are younger in the whole. While using IP, brands should have clear product planning, market planning and terms so as to cooperate better with each other.


China Stationery Design Forum: “The Design and Guidance in the New Economic Environment”    


In the morning of the second day of the exhibition, CFS, together with Shanghai Promotion Center for City of Design, held the first professional forum with the theme of “design”--- China Stationery Design Forum: “The Design and Guidance in the New Economic Environment” 


1. Xu Huafeng ● General manager of Comexposium (Shanghai) Co., Ltd 

A speech delivered by the organizer·Host  


2. Zhang Zhan ● Director-general of Shanghai Promotion Center for City of Design


The intrinsic value of design 

The quality of design depends on what problems can be solved by design and what services/functions can be provided by design 


The value of products 

The process of design is to start from needs and then produce commodities/articles. For companies, the design that has stupendous commercial value should focus on the users’ experience of commodities and design should lead the market, change the market rather than just following the market. 


The value of brand

The Chinese stationery market is typically a big market with small commodities and a red ocean market that is usually popular and homogeneous. Companies should provide a good experience to users with each of their product based on users’ values and world outlook, thus increasing the value of their brands. To build an outstanding brand, a company, with its products/services as the starting point, should convey an idea, express an attitude and cultivate a style. Design is not just to organize, but to construct a culture of the company and build a brand.    


The intrinsic value of design 


Enterprises should practice systematic industrial design innovation mechanism and coordinate capital operation, brand operation, technology R&D, production quality control, channel building and marketing model so as to create a closed circle of the industry that meets the needs of the market and endow “brand-product” with appropriate culture and value. 


3. Xu Gongwei ● Design president of M&G Chenguang Stationery Co.,Ltd. 

User-friendly design 


Design is “an act of purposeful creation”. It should discover the needs of users, solve problems, attract and retain users for enterprises. User satisfaction is the only standard to test the success of product development.


Chenguang has taken great pains to figure out the real needs of consumers. The design team has carried out extensive research on consumers with various methods such as holding discussions and forums, 1V1 interviews with customers and eye tracking test to have a deep understanding of consumers’ needs and create valuable products.  


Mr. Xu Gongwei shared with us several cases of Chenguang stationery in developing products to analyze how to keep improving products with consumers’ needs in mind. 

1. With a research project focusing on the callus on the middle finger of students, Chenguang improves the experience of holding pens to solve users’ problem and convey our care to them; 2. Chenguang makes targeted products to meet the personalized needs of different users; 3. Chenguang establishes an emotional connection with consumers with methods like IP cooperation. Since Chenguang knows the needs of consumers, the designs are user-friendly and the products are truly loved by consumers.    


4. Lin Xiaofan ● Vice president of marketing of Guang Bo Co.,Ltd.   

The unusual path of crossover design

Guang Bo stationery cooperates with three types of IP: 1. International and classical IP with everlasting fame such as Sanrio and Disney; 2. emerging IP such as the two games-DaoMu and Onmyoji Steam; 3 Original IP.  


In the cooperation process between Guang Bo and Dao Mu IP, Guang Bo launched a series of stationery with the image of Dao Mu characters; Guang Bo adopted the model of flash mob as a marketing strategy. It mobilized the power of fans to drive dealers replenishing their stock, thus expanding selling channels and improving the design. With excellent products and marketing strategy, Guang Bo sold over 5,000 sets of products in 3 months and sales through this channel increased by 50%. The MicroBlog of Guang Bo stationery had 10,000 more followers, increasing by 7%. Meanwhile, over 3,000 new stores joined Guang Bo, speeding up the project of “Ubiquitous Stores”.  


In the end, Mr. Lin summarized two experiences:

· Cooperating with Anime & Comic IP is a crucial way to excel in the market segment because each Anime & Comic IP represents one group segment. 

· A good IP can stir and connect consumers’ emotions, becoming a powerful magnet drawing brand-product-consumers’ emotions.  


5. Chen Minqu ● Hang Zhou Joytop Stationery & Gift Co.,Ltd.  

Brand and design in the development of a company

Design=discovering the demand+ implementing the design 

The essence of design is innovation and the ultimate goal is to resonate and connect with more people through design. 


Mr. Chen shared with us his personal experience in starting the company, focusing on three periods---the initial period, the growing period and the mature period.


In the initial period, Joytop entered the stationery industry with some personalized and cute design. With the growth of the enterprise, Joytop conducted extensive user survey and finalized the direction and core ideas of the brand, improving the commodity system. In recent years, Joytop is actively involved in cooperating with other industries to open the market and create more possibilities. In addition, Joytop began to apply for intellectual property rights from 2018 and patented over 200 trademarks in 15 countries. Nowadays, Joytop will authorize our design and pictures freely to other companies so that good design can empower more quality products. 


6. Lin Chenye ● Deputy general manager of Shanghai Blue Design Co.,Ltd.

The driving force of design

In the red ocean market of stationery industry, returning to the starting point of design and innovation-people’s demand, will become a new area where breakthrough can be made, especially the potential demand which is deeper and harder to spot.  


The needs of users can be dug out and led. Therefore, brand breakthrough = creating products transcending the expectations of users.   


With the analysis of the development trend of Deli office supplies buyers’ way of living, Deli’s cooperation with Yi Heyuan and the case of the emerging brand Nusign, Mr. Lin illustrates to us that different needs stemming from differences in identity, taste and personality can guide the direction of design and its value. Through targeted innovation, refined design direction and brand direction, a company can produce high-quality and special types of products and create high added value, achieving the transformation from trademark to brand, from blue ocean to red ocean and from general innovation to targeted innovation. With systematic and targeted innovation, targeted products can be developed and the development of market and company can be boosted with design and innovation.  


Roundtable forum



Yu Guofang ● Chairman of Shanghai Yang Shi Business Consultancy Co.,Ltd.



Yang Jun ●Brand director of Shenzhen COMIX Group Stock Company

1. What’s the value of industrial design empowering the stationery industry?   

Mr. Xu Gongwei

Industrial design can link a company’s technology, marketing and management, drive the company’s development and give rise to greater value. 


Mr. Zhang Zhan

Industrial design is a critical step in building China’s stationery brand 

Mr. Yang Jun 

From the perspective of the development of brand in the later stage, culture can be seen as the soul of design; from the perspective of design, the needs of consumers should be the core of design.


2. The thoughts and solutions of stationery companies for the current trend of consumption

Mr. Chen Minqu 

Design and marketing are far from enough; We media is an essential tool to penetrate the market segment.


3. Can the training for designers meet the requirements of companies? What are your suggestions for the training of designers? 

Mr. Lin Xiaofan

Some designers do show a lack of understanding for the market positioning and the needs of consumers, but a large number of senior designers have a remarkable understanding about consumers’ needs. We hope that more talented designers in other industries enter this industry and create more quality products.  


Mr. Yu Guofang

We also hope that there will be more school-enterprise cooperation, building a platform to pool creative resources and providing more opportunities to students

A group photo of guests


A change of mindset will help you find a larger market—— The integration between large office equipment and stationery can stimulate the potential of blue ocean. 

In the afternoon of the second day of the exhibition, CSF, together with Zhu Hai iRecycling Times Exhibition Services Co.,Ltd. , held the theme forum “A change of mindset will help you find a larger market—— The integration between large office equipment and stationery can stimulate the potential of blue ocean” to discuss how enterprises can make a breakthrough and get a place in the blue ocean market of large office equipment. 


Xie Lanlan Marketing director of Gao Bao Industrial Development Co.,Ltd.

The government and enterprises should use e-commerce to purchase goods, energizing the integrated purchasing market. 


Gao Bao Industrial Development Co.,Ltd. is a high-tech enterprise in science and technology mainly focusing on researching, developing and producing typewriters and consumables. Its products include colored tape, ink, ink cartridge, toner cartridge, toner, typewriter consumables and typewriters. 


Currently, Gao Bao is developing B2B in the following four ares:


1. Entering the government purchasing digital store: a pool of branded goods is built where dealers can procure available goods conveniently, providing more resources to them.

2. Joining the third party platform: ensuring that dealers can get orders from all platforms, such as JD self-operated stores, Suning self-operated stores, Deli, Colipu, Comix, OFFICE and Staples.

3. Bidding for national projects: undertaking national-level projects and recruiting service providers to implement them throughout the country. 


4. Gao Bao will build an integrated store: bidding for and orienting to government purchasing in every province; supporting dealers to customize stores according to the project; allowing dealers to buy goods from the third party.


Finally, Gaobao sincerely extends an invitation for cooperation and launches its key cooperation projects:


1. Shanghai government will purchase a service provider to attract investment in e-maket

2. A national railway project is seeking cooperation partners.  

3. Central government procurement center and Zhongzhi is seeking cooperation partners (making contacts).

4. Gaobao is seeking cooperation partners (all-categories platform).

5. JD Huicai, Suning and other platforms are seeking cooperation partners.


 Xiao Luna ● Sales director of De Tong Electronics & Technology (Shanghai) Co.,Ltd.


One-stop service of large office equipment; winning the terminal market quickly 

De Tong Electronics & Technology (Shanghai) Co.,Ltd. is a professional label printer manufacturer with research, development, production, sales and technical services. It mainly produces and sells mobile and portable label printers and supporting consumables.


De Tong has a good online-offline agent cooperation model and provides one-stop services. Its products mainly include portable label printers, sticky note and supporting software and De Tong provides customized services. Apart from providing customized labeled paper, De Tong also offers different supporting software for grid, fixed assets management, tobacco pricing and other industries and can meet the needs of different management systems. It is able to provide the corresponding software development kit to help you easily complete the secondary development and seamlessly connect to all kinds of management systems. 


In terms of marketing model, De Tong has opened new channels in online stores like TMall, JD based on the offline channels. Companies like operators, electric-power and tobacco are mainly offline and online sectors mainly include home and office products, jewelry, shopping malls, supermarkets, labels, logistics, warehouse and fixed assets. In this way, a win-win situation can be achieved. 


In addition, De Tong also offers typewriters for customers and mainly targets living, learning and working areas with furniture, storage, handbook, notepaper, office sign and commodity label. 


3. He Fujian ● Technology president of He Shun Printing Material Co.,Ltd. in Zi Xing

Make “green office” fashionable 

He Shun Printing Material Co.,Ltd. is committed to the research, development, production and sales of all kinds of printing consumables. Currently, brands that belong to the company include Dong Jianghu, Lingdu, Xin Heshun, Xinpi, Sanhui and Wufu. The series of Xin Heshun typewriters using toner cartridge and powder cartridge are included in the government catalogue of two-type products in Hunan province. A large number of its products are sold in over 40 countries and regions including Europe, South America, North America, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa.  


Mr. He mainly introduced to us the importance of toner, toner cartridge and other steps in protecting the ecology and the environment: 1. Coarse and low-quality toner can make toner come off from the printed document or the typewriter can leak toner because the particles are large and cannot stick closely while fine toner can greatly enhance a toner cartridge’s quality of printing. 2. A properly designed toner cartridge can drastically reduce the rate of toner leakage and the recycling technology of toner cartridge is extremely important.   


What’s more, the research and development of new technology can also greatly reduce printing consumables’ impact impact on the environment. For example, Heshun developed a new technology called “biologically activated toner” which can be extracted from resin, an important component of toner. As resin can be obtained from renewable resources like planting and harvesting resin crops, the acquirement of toner will be less dependent on oil.


In the end, with a comparative test of ink-jet printer and laser printer, Mr. He illuminated the advantages of ink-jet printer in respects of total volatile organic compounds, ozone emissions, dust, PM2.5 emissions, energy conservation and consumption reduction.